Zero harmful emissions
The methanol fuel cell has zero harmful emissions and even upholds the World Health Organisations limits for office working environments except for the lower O2 / higher CO2 content in the air. The fuel conversion does release CO2 in which hydrogen has been contained to form a liquid. However this CO2, when using renewable methanol, has been obtained from biomass and thus closing a CO2 neutral loop. Furthermore, CO2 can be extracted from thin air and used in the methanol production consequently binding free CO2 in fuel. Together carbon dioxide and water is the fundamental core of all life on earth – the problem today is the source of the carbon, which is often fossil. But using existing CO2 as a resource for turning hydrogen gas into liquid methanol that is both easy to store and transport makes the use of methanol genuinely CO2 neutral.
High-Temperature PEM fuel cells
The HT PEM-technology operates at 160-180 °C and has a high resistance to impurities in reformat gas which makes it ideal to combine with fuel reformers. The combination can be done without the implementation of expensive and cumbersome clean-up technologies which enables a simple and cost-effective system design.
The HT PEM-technology is characterized by simple heat management and a minimum balance of plant components which in turn reduces the parasitic losses to run the system. The simple system design enables a high total system power density although the stack power density is lower than generic stack designs.
Methanol reforming is a relatively simple process that converts a mix of methanol and water into a hydrogen-rich gas. Before the reforming can take place the fuel needs to go from liquid to gas form by evaporation, a process that requires energy and in a generic system would mean using primary fuel, leading to lower efficiency. In the combination with HT PEM the waste heat is of sufficient temperature to drive this process, meaning an energy-free process which leads to a superior overall efficiency.
The fundamental chemical process, which takes place in the reformer is: Ch3OH + H2O → CO2 + 3 H2
The hydrogen (H2) produced is subsequently used in the fuel cell to produce electricity.
The methanol fuel cells are always implemented in a hybrid configuration thereby complementing a battery system. The battery is very good for short high power needs and the fuel cell for an extended need of energy. By combining the two technologies both can be downsized considerably so only a relatively small battery pack and fuel cell compared with a single technology scenario. Furthermore, this enables a plugin option for e.g. daily use where a small battery pack is enough to cover the range need of a passenger car.
Methanol as a fuel
Methanol is already a widely used transportation fuel primarily as an additive or derivative and in China alone accounts for more than 7% of all transportation fuel. As a fuel methanol has many of the same characteristics as known logistical fuels with some exceptions. Methanol is biodegradable and fully solvable in water which means spills although not desired is naturally correctable. Methanol is safe in handling when implementing proven engineering spill free solutions preventing the user from coming into contact with the fuel or fumes.
Heat resistant operation
The fuel cell can operate at high ambient temperature conditions with simple heat management.
Waste heat for cabine heating
A liquid fuel
The onboard fuel tank is a normal plastic tank with high flexibility, low weight, low cost, and no pressure.
Vehicles can be refueled in 3 min using existing infrastructure and distribution concepts.
With a standard liquid tank of 75 liters, a typical vehicle will have more than 1000km of range.
The fuel cell system
Read more about the integrated fuel cell system designed and produced by Blue World Technologies.
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